Miami will look to continue its impressive 2013 campaign by taking down North Carolina on Thursday night in Chapel Hill.
After impressively knocking off Florida earlier this year, the Hurricanes have churned out three blowout wins to improve to 5-0 on the season. Utilizing a potent mix of high-scoring offense and stifling defense, Miami is a difficult team to beat.
North Carolina, on the other hand, has only won a single game to this point, and limps into this contest on a three-game losing streak.
The Tar Heels haven't been able to stop anyone from putting points on the scoreboard, and the team's offense has struggled to move the chains.
Miami should cruise to an easy victory on the road in Week 8, but upsets occur every weekend in college football.
When: Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 64.5 pts.
- Spread: North Carolina (+8.5)
Miami Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Eduardo Clements||RB||Ques Oct 17 - Hamstring - 10/6/13|
|Nate Dortch||DB||Ques Oct 17 - Foot - 10/6/13|
|Rashawn Scott||WR||Ques Oct 17 - Shoulder - 10/6/13|
|Hunter Wells||OL||out for season - Undisclosed - 8/29/13|
|Danny Isidora||OL||Out indefinitely - Foot - 8/15/13|
|Hunter Knighton||OL||Out indefinitely - Shoulder - 8/15/13|
North Carolina Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Jack Tabb||TE||Ques Oct 17 - Suspension - 10/7/13|
|Kiaro Holts||T||Ques Oct 17 - Undisclosed - 10/5/13|
|T.J. Jiles||CB||Ques Oct 17 - Undisclosed - 10/5/13|
|Bryn Renner||QB||Ques Oct 17 - Foot - 10/5/13|
|Dalton Stogner||WR||out for season - Knee - 8/15/13|
|Shakeel Rashad||LB||out for season - Knee - 8/15/13|
|Sam Smiley||S||out for season - Toe - 8/15/13|
Can North Carolina Conjure Up a Rushing Attack?
The Tar Heels featured an explosive run game last season, thanks to Giovani Bernard, averaging 193.8 yards per game with 28 total rushing touchdowns.
As Bernard's backup, A.J. Blue averaged 5.3 yards per carry last year, but he's struggling mightily as the team's go-to running back this year.
In five games, Blue has rushed for just 187 yards on 49 carries, and he's yet to take one in for a score. Romar Morris has done well in limited duty, rushing for 171 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries.
As a team, North Carolina is averaging just 100 yards per game, however, which ranks No. 114 in the nation. If the Tar Heels can't figure out a way to improve upon these numbers this Thursday, then Miami will romp.
Stephen Morris leads a potent offensive attack that makes big plays with regularity—both on the ground and through the air. He's thrown five touchdown passes in his last two games and appears to be getting hot heading into the second half.
Which team will win?
Combined with a tough-as-nails defense, Miami is a tough nut to crack.
The Hurricanes average 45.2 points per game and allow just 16 points per game. North Carolina doesn't have the talent on either side of the ball to do much damage to either of those numbers.
Miami will easily win this game to improve to 6-0.
Miami wins 42-24
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78